For family day, prepare garlic-honey marinated pork loin. In a large shallow pan, combine 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice, 3/4 cup honey, 6 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce, 3 tablespoons dry sherry and 6 cloves minced garlic; mix well. Add 1 (3- to 3 1/2-pound) boneless pork loin; turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate 8 to 12 hours. Turn occasionally. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Place roast on a rack in a shallow roasting pan and discard marinade; bake 20 minutes per pound or until thermometer inserted in thickest part of pork reaches 145 degrees. Remove from oven, tent with foil and let stand 5 minutes before slicing. Serve with orzo with green beans and walnuts (see recipe), a spinach salad and dinner rolls. Buy a coconut cream pie for dessert. Plan ahead: Marinate the pork a day ahead. Save enough pork and pie for Monday.
MONDAY (Heat and Eat)
Make a pork stir-fry tonight using the leftover pork, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, frozen stir-fry vegetables and stir-fry sauce. Spoon it over brown rice. Add whole-grain rolls. Slice the leftover pie for dessert.
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Up your fiber intake with penne with zucchini and ricotta (see recipe). Serve with mixed greens and garlic bread. For dessert, sliced melon (any kind) is good.
Take it easy tonight as you prepare tuna-stuffed tomatoes (deli tuna salad stuffed into hollowed-out tomatoes). Garnish with chopped fresh dill. Serve the stuffed tomatoes with bean soup and whole-grain bread or rolls. Peaches are a juicy dessert.
Kids won’t have to worry about crumbly taco shells with this easy taco dinner. In a large nonstick skillet, cook 1/2 pound ground turkey breast and 1/2 pound lean ground beef with 1 medium chopped onion for 10 minutes on medium or until no longer pink; drain. Stir in 1 (1.25-ounce) envelope reduced-sodium taco seasoning mix and 1 cup water. Heat to boiling; reduce heat to low. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes while stirring occasionally. Place 1 (12-ounce) package baked tortilla chips on a serving platter; spoon meat mixture over chips. Serve these toppings on the side: 1/2 small head shredded lettuce, 2 medium chopped tomatoes, 1 (2 1/4-ounce) can drained sliced black olives, 1 cup shredded 50 percent light cheddar cheese and 2/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream. Add fresh pineapple spears for something sweet.
Make tortellini soup for a quick, no-meat meal. In a Dutch oven, mix together 2 (14-ounce) cans unsalted vegetable broth, 2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans diced tomatoes with garlic and onion with juice, 1 (15-ounce) can rinsed reduced-sodium cannellini beans and 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low and add 3 cups coarsely chopped fresh spinach leaves and 1 (9-ounce) package refrigerated cheese tortellini. Cover and simmer 10 to 15 minutes or until tortellini is tender. Add coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Serve with freshly grated parmesan cheese if desired. Add a lettuce wedge with grape tomatoes, crusty bread and fresh blueberries.
SATURDAY (Easy Entertaining)
Short-cut paella (see recipe) was a winner with our guests. Serve with a Boston lettuce salad and baguettes on the side. For dessert, Raspberry pie cuties are fun and easy. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Unroll 1 box refrigerated piecrusts on work surface. Cut 6 (3 1/2- to 4-inch) rounds from each using a biscuit or other cutter; discard scraps. Fit rounds into 12 ungreased regular-size muffin cups, pressing in gently. Spoon about 2 tablespoons raspberry pie filling (from a 21-ounce can) into each cup. Bake 14 to 18 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly. Serve these cuties with a dab of vanilla ice cream. Tips: Use regular ice cream rather than fat-free to reduce the sugar. Limit the amount of the ice cream. Substitute any pie filling for raspberry.
Orzo With Green Beans And Walnuts
1 cup orzo
1 (12-ounce) package ready-to-cook green beans, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons red curry powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
3/4 cup toasted chopped walnuts
1/2 cup red bell pepper strips
Cook orzo according to directions; drain well. Microwave green beans 4 minutes on high (100 percent power); let stand 2 minutes and drain. In a large bowl, mix vinegar, oil, honey, curry powder, garlic powder and salt. Add orzo, green beans, walnuts and bell pepper strips; toss to coat. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.
Per serving: 215 calories, 5 grams protein, 11 grams fat (45 percent calories from fat), 1.2 grams saturated fat, 26 grams carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 126 milligrams sodium, 3 grams fiber.
Yield: makes 8 servings
Penne With Zucchini And Ricotta
4 teaspoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 pound zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced thin
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces multigrain penne pasta
1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons dried marjoram
In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil and garlic on medium for 2 minutes or until garlic is golden. Add zucchini, salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat 8 minutes. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup cooking water. Add penne and reserved cooking water to skillet. Add ricotta and parmesan cheeses and marjoram. Toss ingredients in skillet for 3 minutes over medium heat, or until sauce thickens, and serve.
Per serving: 207 calories, 10 grams protein, 7 grams fat (28 percent calories from fat), 2.1 grams saturated fat, 30 grams carbohydrate, 11 grams cholesterol, 346 milligrams sodium, 4 grams fiber.
Yield: makes 6 servings
3 slices uncooked bacon, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 pound smoked sausage, cut lengthwise in half, then into 1/4-inch slices
1 cup long-grain white rice
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cups unsalted chicken broth
1 (14.5-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, drained
1 pound uncooked peeled and deveined shrimp, tails on
1 cup frozen petite peas
Freshly ground black pepper
In large nonstick skillet or paella pan, cook bacon on low 10 minutes or until cooked through. Remove all but 1 tablespoon fat, leaving bacon in skillet. Add onion and sausage; cook and stir 7 minutes or until onion is softened. Add rice, Italian seasoning, turmeric, paprika and cayenne pepper. Cook and stir 2 minutes. Stir in broth. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 15 minutes. Stir in tomatoes. Place shrimp in a single layer on top of rice mixture; top with peas. Cover. Cook on medium-low 8 to 10 minutes or until rice is tender and shrimp are pink. Season to taste with freshly ground black pepper. Serve immediately. (You can leave in the skillet and remove cover at the table. It’s a beautiful dish!)
Per serving: 357 calories, 28 grams protein, 10 grams fat (25 percent calories from fat), 2.8 grams saturated fat, 37 grams carbohydrate, 166 grams cholesterol, 492 milligrams sodium, 3 grams fiber.
Yield: makes 6 servings